Winter Doldrums Workout Blues

I know I've been there!

Does this sound familiar?

It has been a snowy, foggy, chill-to-the bone past few weeks here in Boise. And on more mornings than I’d like to admit to, I’ve turned off the alarm and chosen to stay warm and cozy in bed for a little more sleep rather than dragging my tired self out into the pre-dawn cold where I normally log most of my miles.    And, it’s no wonder – as we try to juggle everything this time of year throws at us — holiday shopping and baking,  less daylight to get a run in, the children going wild from being cooped up in the house more than not – it’s understandable that we end up missing more workouts than we would like.

I was lamenting to a good friend (who just happens to also be a runner) just a couple of days ago that I’d spent more time devouring holiday goodies than I had running miles lately so I was feeling discouraged and lacking motivation. Luckily for me, I complained to just the right person – a friend who’s pretty good at not only motivating himself, but also everyone else. He invited me on a run. A 5:30 (headlamp required) mountain trail run.  I accepted, though I will admit that the chubby, whiny new me kind of was tempted to complain to him but not really do anything useful about my current state of affairs.  Luckily for me, though, my integrity is as such that if I promise I will be somewhere at such-and-such a time — I always show up.

And, so yesterday, I found myself in a snowy parking lot, in 21 degree weather waiting for the others to arrive.  And, it turned out, I wasn’t the only one looking for some early morning social miles. I counted as car-after-car arrived and bundled runners climbed out, ready to tackle the trails. There were 8 of us all together by the time the last vehicle arrived. I was totally amazed. Normally, on a good day, 3 or 4 will show up to run early, but this was a whole new record!

We had a wonderful run and just after everyone had said their good-byes, my friend, with one hand already on his pickup door, yelled out, “Hey! I’m running again tomorrow if any of you want to join me!” Several (including me) agreed to do it all again. And, this morning — 5 of the gang was back at it again, breathing hard in the foggy early morning air, climbing up some beautiful snow-covered trails, knocking out nearly 10 tough, but satisfying miles.

Gratitude.  That is the best word for what I’m feeling for my friend right now for getting me and a few others out of our winter workout funks. And, I’m reminded that what he did is something the rest of us need to do more often — motivate others — invite others on a run or to a yoga class (I’m going to one on Friday with the same friend after months of not attending) or to do something healthy.  The beautiful thing is that when we motivate others – we are also helping ourselves since we often get a workout buddy for the day, which is a pretty fantastic thing!

So, I encourage you — if you’re looking at several empty pages in your log book from the last week or so — invite a friend to join you for a workout tomorrow or the next day! My guess is, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll both be better off!

Happy Holidays!

P.S. Thanks Ryan for all the positive peer pressure this week! 😀


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